Jesus teaches surprising truth.
God blesses – God approves of these people and makes them happy.
Read the text and think about the person who Jesus describes as blessed. What are their characteristics, state of being, doing?
poor, mourn, humble, hunger and thirst for justice, merciful, pure hearts, work for peace, persecuted for doing right
“Jesus…redefined the good life in nine short sentences and held them out for everyone to see: nine portraits of kingdom people, previously known as victims, dreamers, pushovers, and fools. These are the chosen ones, he said, the blessed ones who shall see God face-to-face. These are the happy ones, the lucky ones who shall be satisfied – not because they got an advance copy of the rules, and played by them to win, but because winning was the farthest thing from their minds.” – Barbara Brown Taylor Gospel Medicine
Barbara Brown Taylor an Episcopal priest, was recognized as one of the twelve most effective preachers by Baylor University in 1995.
What do I see in the people described? A gracious humility.
Conformity to Gods will, hunger thirst for righteousness and justice…purity of heart.
“ purity of heart must never be confused with outward conformity to rules. Because it is the heart, which must be pure, this beatitude interrogates us with awkward questions like these; what do you think about when your mind slips into neutral? To what do you pay consistent allegiance? What do you want more than anything else? To extent are your actions and words, accurate reflections of what is in your heart? To what extent do your actions constitute a cover-up for what is in your heart?” – D. A. Carson Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World
”I am persuaded that should the spirit of God usher in another period of refreshing revival in the western world, One of the earliest signs of it will be that admission of spiritual bankruptcy, which finds its satisfaction in God and his righteousness, and goes on to be richly merciful toward others.” – D. A. Carson Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation with the World
called, “Sons of God”….partakers of God’s character
Read the text and think about the characteristics described of God. What is Gods state of being? What is God doing? What does God promise to do?
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs, comforted, they will inherit the whole earth, they will be satisfied, they will be shown mercy, they will see God, they will be called the children of God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs
God brings about blessing now, and in the future. Through the life, forgiveness and freedom of salvation, there is a life-changing blessing now, one that can be experience progressively, each day, and one that will ultimately be fulfilled when Jesus returns on the day of ultimate fulfillment.
What will God yet do?
There will come a day when the people Jesus describes as blessed will receive Gods love without limitations or interruptions.
What do we learn?
Those who look to God with faith-filled gracious humility will be blessed.
What should we do?
Read, reflect on, prayerfully consider your response to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:1–10.
Example from African American History, closing prayer
A Prayer for Holy Zeal by Maria W. Stewart 1835
“O, thou sin-forgiving God, they that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Lord, I am sick, and full of diseases. If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. Though my sins have been as scarlet, though canst make them wool; and though they be red like crimson, though canst make them whiter than snow. Were it not that there is a sufficiency in thy blood to atone for the vilest, the view of my past sins and transgressions would sink me in despair. But thou has said, ‘him that cometh to thee, thou wilt in no ways cast out. Lord, I come, pleading alone the merits of my Redeemer; not only for myself do I plead, but for the whole race of makind; especially for the benighted sons and daughters of Africa. Do thou loose their bonds, and let the oppressed go free. Bless thy churches throughout the world. Grant that the time may soon come, that all may know thee from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Fire our souls with a holy zeal for thy cause, and let us not rest at ease in Zion, whilst souls are perishing for lack of knowledge. Wilt thou increase our number of such, and such only, as shall be saved. Dispel every gloomy fear that pervades my mind, and enable me to hope in thy mercy, and to thee will I ascribe praises everlasting.” – Maria W. Stewart
A saint is one who exaggerates what the world neglects.” – G. K. Chesterton